19 January 2021
Intercropping for sustainability

Two-day Conference with AAB, DIVERSify and ReMIX at Reading University

6 September 2021
Organic World Congress 2021

New date! Postponed from September 2020



30 July 2020
ORC welcomes the National Food Strategy

The first major reviewof our food system in 75 years

24 July 2020
The future of organic farming and the environment

All to play for if full benefits of organic farming for wildlife, the environment and health are to be realised



29 April 2020
Tim Bennett is the new Chair of ORC

Former NFU president takes on chairmanship of Organic Research Centre

Research and development

Recent articles

ORC’s research programme focuses on organic/agro-ecological approaches to food and farming in order to:

    a) improve the productivity and sustainability of such approaches and to address key technical problems where current practice falls short of organic/agro-ecological principles

    b) Evaluate, with a view to improvement, the wider impacts of such systems, in particular the delivery of ecosystem services ; pollution, resource use and biodiversity impacts; greenhouse gas emissions and potential for climate change mitigation; food security, food sovereignty and sustainability of food systems; as well as food quality, safety and human/animal health and wellbeing.

ORC believes, and has demonstrated, that organic agricultural research should be conducted within established and well-functioning organic systems, on a scale large enough to include the range of interactions inherent within diverse agro-ecosystems. Much of the research we carry out is field-based on commercial farms reflecting the importance we place on a participatory/ farming systems research approach.

The research programme is co-ordinated by Dr Bruce Pearce and other members of the research team.

Research areas

Farmer and Business Supporters’ Group


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Plant breeding

Increasing resilience in crops through breeding and assessment of pure lines, landraces, variety mixtures and populations.

Soils and cropping systems

Developing systems and their components, including reduced tillage and cover crops, to make crop production more sustainable.

Agroforestry

Integrating trees with agriculture to increase productivity, biodiversity and other mutual benefits.

Biodiversity and agro-ecology

Understanding and enhancing the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem health to sustainable food production sytems.

Livestock systems

Developing sustainable livestock systems with a focus on nutrition, health and welfare in a whole farm context.

Environment, sustainability and health

Optimising the costs, benefits and interactions of multi-functional systems to deliver sustainable resource use.

Business and markets

Assessing the contribution of specialist markets, certification and policies to supporting financial, economic and sustainability.

Food quality and health

Understanding the concepts of health in systems and organisms and how production methods can influence health and product quality.

Research events

22 February 2012 1st Solibam Stakeholder Congress: Rome event to debate role of diversity in low-input and organic systems...

Recent articles

Plants and planting designs for organic poultry ranges: Managing free-range areas for hens: improving welfare and biodiversity on farm More...

Assessing the sustainability of sheep and goat farms in Europe: Adapting the Public Goods Tool More...

Benefits and challenges of herbal or diverse leys: Opportunities for farmer involvement More...

New resources from OK-Net Ecofeed: New Practice Abstracts and videos More...

The importance of our local sheep breeds : How do we encourage people to value heritage breeds? More...

To view more articles about research and development, visit our archive.